English Literature and Language

“By analysing the way writers explore the human condition, we gain the skill to communicate our own big ideas”

Our English Curriculum intends to:

  • Instil in pupils a passion for literature and a life-long love of reading.

  • Teach readers to becoming critical, analytical and evaluative readers of fiction and non-fiction.

  • Enable pupils to craft language so that they become convincing writers, able to communicate in their writing for different audiences and purposes.

  • Ensure that pupils are effective communicators in spoken English.

The English curriculum is taught as an integrated course. However, pupils will be entered for GCSE English Language and Literature as two discrete qualifications.

English Language and Literature in Year 9

An Overview of the Course in Year 9

Pupils will develop their skills as critical readers of fiction and non-fiction texts and also become writers, adept at crafting language to suit a range of audiences and purposes. They will also become confident speakers able to express their opinion on a range of challenging ideas.

Course Content:

English language skills are taught in an integrated way, complementing and supporting the English Literature course. Pupils will read a choice of modern fiction, a Shakespeare text, poetry, a range of non-fiction texts including speeches, adverts and autobiographical journals. More confident learners will study Latin as part of their English Curriculum. The addition of Latin provides further enrichment and enhances learners’ understanding of language development, with a view to taking the language onto GCSE if they choose to (see page 26 for further details). Other curriculum opportunities such as participating in a Shakespeare workshop, viewing a production or analysing speeches by famous historical figures and politicians broadens pupils’ cultural experiences further.

Course Skills:

  • Reading skills of inference, analysis and evaluation

  • Writing to persuade and argue and develop a distinctive voice

  • Writing creative texts including stories and descriptions

  • Spoken language presentation skills

English Language GCSE and English Literature GCSE

Year 10 - 11 Course Content:

English Language GCSE:

Pupils follow the AQA course for GCSE English Language. Pupils will build on the skills of reading and writing they have been developing throughout their time at The Westgate, but now it will be much more tailored to the demand of the exam. Pupils will continue to develop as critical readers with a focus on the skills of inference, analysis and evaluation and comparison. They will read a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, both contemporary and from the nineteenth century


The English Language GCSE is assessed through two linear exams, both worth 50% of the course:

  • Paper 1 Explorations in creative reading and writing

  • Paper 2 Writers’ Viewpoints and Perspectives

Pupils are given practice GCSE assessments at the end of each unit.

English Literature GCSE

Pupils follow the AQA course for GCSE English Literature. They will read a nineteenth century novel, either: ‘The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ by Robert L Stevenson, ‘A Christmas Carol’, by Charles Dickens or ‘Frankenstein’, by Mary Shelley. They will also study a modern text: either ‘Lord of the Flies’ or ‘An Inspector Calls’ and a range of pre and post 1914 poetry on the theme of Power and Conflict, and ‘Macbeth’ Please note: texts are subject to change according to exam board review.


The English Literature GCSE is assessed through two linear exams:

  • ‘Shakespeare and the Nineteenth Century text’ worth 40%

  • ‘Poetry and Modern Texts’ worth 60% of the course.

Pupils are given practice GCSE assessments at the end of each unit